Leadership 101

By Lieutenant Paul Francois


Let me begin by stating that I believe Pension Modification is needed immediately. And every cop and POA Director I know agrees. We need to modify the system (in a legal manner) so that it remains affordable and able to provide for the hard working men and women in public safety now and well into the future.



Here is what I do not understand: Why would Mayor Reed persist in pushing forward with Measure B when every single union official – both police and fire – was willing to sit at the table and negotiate a win-win solution? A solution that would save the City and employees exorbitant costs, preserve public safety, and protect the morale of the workforce. A solution that would have prevented and avoided a legal battle that will be costly and produce long lasting bitterness. Honestly, and not the least bit naively, I do not understand it. And when I see the fall out of it – a completely demoralized workforce – I feel hopeless, bitter, despondent, and deeply disappointed. That is not leadership; it’s evil.


At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, it reminds me of several infamous world leaders who imposed their ideals on others without any semblance of an open, honest, exchange of ideas. And in each instance, a wake of irreparable harm was done to the people such will was imposed upon. And that is what is happening to the San Jose Police Department. Police Officers are being irreparably harmed by a man who is unwilling to engage in good faith negotiation. And yes, the men and women of SJPD will undoubtedly suffer. But the big picture is the irreparable harm that will be done to the people who live in this city.


I know Mayor Reed believes he will still be able to attract qualified candidates to the now lowest paid, least compensated police department in the Bay Area. I assure you, he will not be able to do so. That defies common sense. He will likely attract a lot of lesser qualified, more desperate, and less honorable people. And until the resulting Rampart-like scandals occur, the SJPD will not begin an ascent to greatness again. Of course, another possibility – one I shudder to consider – is that the SJPD may never be a great department again.


Alas, the heart of the SJPD is being cut out piece by piece, bit by bit. Anyone who has a hand in such destruction ought to be ashamed of themselves. You might be saving the taxpayers some money, but you are depriving them of protection from an evil of which you are inherently unaware. In the movie Scent of a Woman, Al Pacino’s character, Lt. Col. Frank Slade, offers this piece of wisdom from his war torn experience:


“There was a time I could see. And I have seen. Boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there is nothing like the sight of an amputated spirit. There is no prosthetic for that.”


Beware Mr. Mayor, you are in the process of amputating the spirit of your public safety personnel. And it is a road not easily turned back from. I pray that you reconsider this course, check your pride, and put the people you’re sworn to protect first. I challenge you to rise above the inclination to have everything your way, on your terms. If you don’t, the legacy you will leave is far worse than a demoralized work-force. It will be a city in ruins. Believe that.


Paul Francois has been a San Jose police officer since 1986, and is a Lieutenant in the Patrol Division of SJPD.

Comments

Corrupt Mayor and Minions

Paul, you are well spoken and certainly capture the essence of the department's dire situation. I fear that your intended audience will fail to afford a moment to ingest your thoughts and the comments of the concerned stakeholders. This corrupt and foul mayor and his minions have made it unmistakably clear that they are no longer interested in saving a city's future or preserving it's past. The agenda is forged in greed, ego, and hate. To further complicate the devastating destruction of a city'is the lack of leadership where it is imperative-- from within our own department. We now have less than a handful of command staff that remotely resemble leaders. The chief and the assistant chief have a vote of no confidence among their peers. I have never been so dissapointed and frustrated as I am when I consider the fact that our leadership consists of paper tigers. It is time to move on if you have any aspirations or intentions to enjoy your career for those who have over maybe 5 years remaining. There is no loyalty from a city or an organization. The loyalty comes from your circle of friends and family. Save your health and salvage your professional career by seeking out an organization that fosters leaders, and provides a degree of appreciation for your professionalism and sacrifices. This is no longer the San Jose PD you or I applied to. The mayor achieved his goal in ruining a city and it's many departments. Our interdepartmental "leaders" helped dissolve what was left. Remember, choosing to do nothing is a decision. Decide favorably now for your career and your families. Leave as I am after almost two decades in SJPD. Go well my comrades I will cherish the good work and good times and utilize my knowledge, training, education, and experience where it is condoned and compensated.

Mayor Reed and Measure B

May Chuck Reed would never pass leadership 101, at least not leadership as defined by Theodore Roosevelt “People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives.”

San Jose has one of the finest Public Safety teams in the nation AND they are aware that the pension cost as they stand are unsustainable and need to be revised. They are also willing to sit down and talk about it. The changes, the cuts need to be made with a scalpel, not a chain saw, that is only common sense and good judgment something required by Police Officers, sadly however not politicians.

Thus Mayor Reed prefers Measure “B” the chainsaw approach.

As a San Jose citizen, I wonder...

I remember San Jose being listed as one of the safest cities of its size in the U.S. How can that possibly be maintained if we don't properly (not exorbitantly, but adequately) compensate our police and fire personnel? I was told by an officer in a cruiser that the City is losing something like five officers a month--experienced offices, not newbies--and that there would be no way training could sufficiently prepare rookies to take their places. And that was BEFORE Measure B passed.

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face! (Anybody remember that old expression?) San Jose has made cuts to their budget in ways that will reduce our city's safety and well being.

Paul Francois

If there's one thing that is needed in this desperately polarized society it's the truth. Not your truth or my truth but just the simple truth. I have known Paul for a long time and have noted, sometimes in pain, that he does tell the truth.
Thank you Paul for that. But the simplicity of what you have said is somewhat misleading. Isn't the first thing we lose when we allow ourselves to think that we are right and that's that. We no longer think through issues but just fast forward to a conclusion that may in fact destroy everything we had hoped to accomplish. What is that old saying "When you have only yourself for a councilor, you have a fool for an attorney.
It is difficult for me to believe that this path the City has taken does not take in to account the "unintended consequences".

TO LATE

The damage is done. What the Mayor and Chief have done a good job is keeping the impact of this secret. They both talk about a gang task force. Crime Prevention programs like SAVE and C2 that targeted children are gone. Just these two programs alone were around for 15 years and helped save many families. Both were model programs that at one time there was legislation that every county would have to copy what SJPD was doing. Many programs like this will take decades to replace. The Police Department has no prevention or intervention program now. Chief Moore was on the team that help make these programs models. But where is he now. How long can the Chief sit by and be quiet? How many decades will it take to replace the 500 officers that are gone?

Mr Reed's reason is simple and frightening

Mr. Reed has become a Zealot. Defined in the World Dictionary as:
an immoderate, fanatical, or extreme adherent to a cause....He believes and ergo it must be truth. That's why it was named Measure B as if you BELIEVE then no ammount of contrary evidence has value cause you don't Believe it. Why he became one of these is an area for speculation, but this is what he has become. It is th same mindset of others who destroy without regard for the value of what they don't wish to understand. Keep fighting the good fight Paul, I would never expect anything else from you. God Bless.....
bmw

Unions ~VS~ Leadership

I have yet to see a San Jose Politician that had an ounce of leadership in their body. They mistake "agenda" with Leadership. They mistake, "for the good of all", with the word me....If this fine city means to push forward and remain a fine city then the first step is to eliminate the obstacles...recall the Mayor and City Council and start over. Firmness, fairness, dignity and compassion is required by both sides with the understanding there is no enemy......Semper Fidelis

Leader-Ship

With the Mayor and Council performing more and more amputation surgery to our Department, one result is sinking of the Leader-Ship. When major events or an excellent case occurs, the Dept is silent and fails to recognize publically our excellent work. In patrol briefing, Commanders will frequently have no comments or worse, state, "I got nothing" or "I don't have a clue". They have become victims of the City’s meatball surgery.

The Leader-Ship is sinking and has been for some time.

The time is now for someone to rise up, take the helm, keep the leader-Ship afloat, and steer a true course. A course with purpose and a righteous mission. A course set by a leader who the crew will fight any against any enemy to the last.

The souls aboard hunger for a steady wind. We have been trapped in the doldrums and no one has stepped up to harden the crew to row to clear air.

This Ship needs someone who has experience, and the courage to be the captain of the Leader-Ship. Those who have been standing idle by the rail, staring blindly into the sea of blue are victims of their own mutiny.

The crew wants to sail and feel the winds of progress, purpose and destiny on their face. Will the Leader-Ship get its captain or will it slip into the deep abyss, lost forever?

A text book assault

Very well said Lt. However, I believe its too late. The damage has been done. The Mayor had charted a course and all we can now do is wait for the full impact. He used a standard military approach. Divide the ground forces from command and make them the scapegoat for the failings of goverment. I truly feel the Mayor and council do not care about public safety. They still have to try and make downtown a reality, build a city hall that did not meet the needs of the city, and place artworks around the city to give a false impression. He will not change, but we can. We need leadership to weather this storm. In a time of crisis leadership is needed. Where is our leadership in the department? Give the troops some hope. Right now its everyone for themselves. Instead of giving hope, Supervisors are telling us to find a new job. We are letting the Mayor destroy SJPD.

We don't say much about evil

We don't say much about evil these days. If you want to truly condemn something you call it "sick", as if the latter were worse than evil. Yet it is only right that we reserve these attributions. We have lost the sense that evil is a reality and that a good life is the struggle against evil. Well, evil is what evil does and his name is Reed. Well put Paul

Leadership

Well-said, Paul. Based on all we've seen and heard, the people who most need to hear your message never will--no matter how many times you say it. But I'm glad you're still trying. There's always hope that common sense will prevail. Unfortunately for all involve, it looks like it will take the courts to bring it.

Well said LT. Thanks for

Well said LT. Thanks for sticking it out and staying around and helping the troops who need it...

Article by Paul Francois

As the statement goes, "the simplest answer is the most probable answer." Mayor Reed harbors resentment of the POA and the firefighters because we did not endorse him when he ran against Cindy Chavez for Mayor. This is payback, pure and simple. Don DeMers, #2310

God bless the LT, because he

God bless the LT, because he says what many have been afraid to publicly say. This mayor is not trying to attack the SJPD, it has equalled a vendetta against public safety. Sure up your political standing mr reed, but understand that your actions have placed the people of San Jose at risk. You've chosen the wrong opponent. There are many ways to save city monies without cutting back on the one group of men and women that stand between you and the corrupt... I welcome chuck reed to spend a night in the passenger seat of a new officer. Continue your cutback? I think not ....